A Declaration of Mineral Independence against eco tyranny

It’s an essential first step in making the USA less dangerously dependent on foreign minerals

Paul Driessen & Ann Bridges

As we celebrate the Declaration of Independence, let us view it from a 21st century perspective.

Many of the colonists’ grievances against King George III resonate today, as tyrannical environmentalists continue to block domestic development of minerals that are critical for our businesses, security and living standards. To protect our freedoms, we have updated that revered 1776 statement, to highlight and upend the status quo.

A Declaration of Mineral Independence

of and for the People of the United States of America

from tyrannical environmentalist organizations,

with a goal of full mineral independence by the 250th Anniversary

of America’s first Declaration of Independence, July 4, 2026

WE still hold these truths to be self-evident, that all Men and Women are created equal, and that they are endowed by their Creator and protected by our Constitution with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, the Pursuit of Happiness, which require access to the minerals that make modern societies, defense and other technologies, health and living standards possible.

To secure these rights, our Government derives its just powers from the consent of the governed, and whenever our Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter, abolish or institute new laws.

This declaration of the need for change is not due to light or transient causes. Unfortunately, many of our citizens and businesses are more disposed to avoid conflict or start over elsewhere, than to change the status quo, even while suffering under its ill effects.

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations by non-elected agents of the Government and Environmentalist Non-Government Organizations (ENGOs) creates legal despotism under the guise of wildly inflated risks, distorted scientific analyses, willful ignorance, and dire predictions of catastrophic climate and environmental disasters, it is our right and duty to throw off such laws and regulations and provide new safeguards for personal, economic and national security.

The ENGOs’ enormous wealth, fundraising ability and political influence rightfully categorizes them as a major industry of similar stature as their named “enemies” – including the fossil fuel, mining and manufacturing industries that provide essential energy, basic building blocks and products for life, defense, security and pursuit of happiness.

Our Nation now unnecessarily imports numerous critical minerals, creating a dangerous dependence on foreign and sometimes unfriendly nations, some of which pay little attention to American laws and standards regarding environmental protection, child labor, and worker wages, safety and health.

The global environmentalist industry has a long history of imposing its narrow agendas with little regard for the overall well-being of our nation and its citizenry. It instead seeks to assert control over our mining and other businesses and those enterprises’ ability to raise and maintain the security and living standards of every American citizen through fair commerce between willing customers and providers.

The facts speak for themselves.

Environmentalist NGOs driving our policies, laws and regulations have accepted billions of dollars a year from U.S. and foreign individuals, foundations, corporations and government agencies. They use those funds to advance their own global interests and those of their sponsors, to the detriment of American industries, businesses, communities and families.

They have forced American taxpayers to spend billions of dollars for little or no environmental benefit, without the consent of our legislatures or citizenry, thereby subjecting us to foreign and domestic powers that are unaccountable to the American people, our elected representatives, our laws or our Constitution.

They have taken advantage of legal protections designed for nonprofit charities, to ensure they are treated as being above laws crafted for the public good, including honesty in public statements.

They have made themselves the dominant and dominating interested parties in local, regional and national environmental reviews, permit issuances and enforcement actions. They demand endless meetings and reviews, often in places far from the locale of the affected businesses, in order to delay, bankrupt, shutter or destroy projects that would responsibly develop our nation’s mineral endowment.

They have repeatedly used their power and wealth to influence and obstruct legislative, regulatory and judicial processes against properly and ethically operated businesses and projects, interfered with property rights, and disrupted fair debate over these matters.

They have blocked access to vast acreage through land withdrawals and legal actions, preventing a determination of the highest and best use of areas likely to contain mineral resources vital to our nation’s defense, communication, transportation, medical, energy and other advanced technologies – including wind, solar and battery systems.

They have done so even though innovative modern processes and regulations can simultaneously protect the environment and human health, while reaping the wealth of our lands to further the well-being of our technologically advanced society.

They have demanded new laws, regulations and ever-more stringent standards that industries must meet, despite their proven ability and commitment to be responsible environmental stewards, even though existing laws require that environmental and mineral development interests be balanced.

They ignore the fundamental reality that it takes many years or decades to find and develop economically recoverable deposits of strategic minerals, leaving our nation severely vulnerable in the event of a crisis.

This has resulted in:

· Excessive permits, licenses, approvals and oversight that chill investment in our country’s own mineral resources, mining operations and manufacturing industries;

· Higher costs for materials, goods and services, because of our unnecessarily importing minerals from foreign suppliers; and

· Unelected regulators deciding legal interpretations and disputes, levying financial penalties, and creating approval processes that are too time-consuming and expensive for all but the wealthiest companies and citizens to bear.

Environmentalist NGOs have declared war on our nation’s businesses and citizens who seek to find, develop and utilize America’s bounteous mineral endowment to support our defense, living standards and national interests.

This single-minded pursuit of environmental preservation at all costs has harmed our communities and shackled the lives, livelihoods, ambitions and property rights of our people.

At every stage, businesses and individuals have petitioned for redress, but their petitions have been answered only by mockery and continued injury.

Any special-interest group whose character is thus marked as tyrannical is unfit to be the primary arbiter of choices of a free people.

We have warned our fellow citizens of the foolishness of ceding their future to this elitist minority. We have reminded them of laws intended to protect our access to vital raw materials. We have appealed to their sense of justice and endeavored to create workable solutions. Environmentalist NGOs have been deaf to anything that does not advance their overarching dominance over America’s future.

It is essential that we adopt a sense of urgency and declare our mineral independence, to become self-reliant again. It is crucial that we stop depending on other countries to provide mineral resources that we have in abundance, that are needed for our economic prosperity and national security, and that can be developed with proper attention to air, water, wildlife and other environmental values.

Therefore, we solemnly declare that these United States ought to be free and independent again; that we are absolved from the dictates and bullying of Environmentalist NGOs, their representatives and their funders; and that political obligations to them should be dissolved.

Our businesses and citizens must have full power to explore, develop and mine on federally managed lands, under responsible modern environmental, health and safety standards; establish secure commercial supply chains; and function as independent businesses and individuals under the laws of these United States of America.

We will work tirelessly to implement this Declaration of Mineral Independence, at the federal, state and local level, to ensure the continued freedom and prosperity of this Great Nation.


Paul Driessen is senior policy advisor for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org) and author of many articles on the environment. Ann Bridges is the Silicon Valley-based author of “Rare Mettle” and co-author of “Groundbreaking! America’s New Quest for Mineral Independence.”

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Cameron Kuhns
July 4, 2019 10:27 am

That’s something I could get on board with.

Sam Castronovo
July 4, 2019 11:02 am

It is very interesting that the media continues to ignite the fact that Afghanistan has the largest deposits of rare earths. The USA is fighting to keep Afghanistan free, while the Chinese mine the Afghanistan rare earths. Just what is wrong with this picture? I sent an email to CBS 60 minutes pointing out this fact after their first program on rare earths. No response. They aired a second 60 minutes program on rare earths and continued to ignore the Afghanistan rare earth deposits. Makes one wonder what 60 minutes agenda is all about…….

Reply to  R Shearer
July 4, 2019 9:16 pm

Bit long-winded of an article, when all they had to mention was that Steven Chu is involved to identify it as a scam.

Salvatore Castronovo
July 4, 2019 11:08 am

Afghanistan has the most rare earths….

Reply to  Salvatore Castronovo
July 4, 2019 2:52 pm

Even in very ancient times, Afghanistan had major Tin deposits, that fuelled the very beginnings of the Bronze Age even earlier than the tin deposits later discovered in SW Britain. They have a lot of other minerals/resources as well, such as copper, cobalt, silver, coal, iron and indeed, a lot of Rare Earth’s that appear the USA have protected so is now subject to Chinese development, and now the USA is threatened to be cut off with the ongoing trade war by China.

Afghanistan is not that well explored or documented with respect to its hidden natural resources, due to its rather remote location and troubled history. The geology is very rich there, so makes one wonder what oil and gas deposits exist in those formations. It is estimated that there is a least a trillion dollars of documented mineral reserves there, (and probably much, much more) but the Afghan’s themselves are still hopeless to develop their own country despite our spending hundreds of billions to try and bring Afghanistan into the modern age.

Reply to  Salvatore Castronovo
July 5, 2019 8:45 am

Until the 1980s, USA produced the most REEs, chiefly from the Mountain Pass mine on Interstate 10 at the California-Nevada border.

There’s still plenty of ore in this deposit, but mining was halted in 2002 due to persistent excessive regulation (both Federal and CA State), lawsuits, sale/transfer of the property, etc.


Another fumbled opportunity for mineral independence that can be reclaimed with intellegent government policies (mostly getting out of the way)

As for nuclear energy, forget fusion – massive gravity is the only successful containment

Now, Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) could be up and running in less than a decade and providing nearly limitless, scalable, safe energy (electricity). After that, lots of big projects become achievable.

Al Miller
July 4, 2019 11:08 am

Well said!!!

CD in Wisconsin
Reply to  David Baird
July 4, 2019 3:14 pm

Here’s another one:


“Researchers from West Virginia University and the National Energy Technology Laboratory are working on a project aimed at extracting rare earth elements from the acid mine drainage found at various coal mine sites in the United States.

Besides pioneering a new and less expensive method to recover the 17 elements, the scientists want to bolster domestic supply to reduce the current dependence on Chinese imports. Rare earth elements are used in cell phones, rechargeable batteries, DVDs, GPS equipment, medical equipment and various defense applications.”

One of the REE’s that the article says can be extracted from the coal waste is neodymium. That is one of the REE’s that can be used to manufacture….wait for it….wind turbines among other things. The environmental movement has a problem with trying to shut down the coal industry in this country if indeed coal waste can reduce our dependence on REEs from China as is being suggested here.

I seriously doubt however that they want anyone to know this. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.

July 4, 2019 11:47 am

You really want mineral independence?
Well, with Fusion, All The World’s a Mine
So get on with it. No one said it was easy.
Declare independence from the feudal idea of fixed resources.
Drive the oligarchies green blob crazy.

Time did not stop in 1776. Soon will the moon landing’s 50’th – now that is a step in independence.
With Artemis we are going back , and guess what, there is plenty of Helium3 for fusion there.

Smart Rock
Reply to  bonbon
July 4, 2019 12:38 pm

So fusion is going to supply rare earth metals, copper, zinc, nickel, cobalt, platinum, palladium, gold, silver, lithium, iron, manganese, chromium, vanadium, tungsten, molybdenum, beryllium, aluminium, phosphates, niobium, tantalum, lead, mercury, tin, bismuth, antimony, cesium, rubidium, strontium, plus industrial minerals like talc, barite, gypsum, diatomite, wollastonite, kaolinite, vermiculite, perlite, zeolite (to name a few) plus construction materials like sand, gravel, crushed rock, limestone and clay to make cement, and on and on?

Good thinking, bonbon. Keep it up.

If you think the list is too inclusive, try applying for a gravel pit permit in California.

Reply to  Smart Rock
July 4, 2019 1:29 pm

Where do you think those resources came from, the ground or what?

Fusion, means very high energy density, where all of those came from.

Time for a fusion declaration of independence. Rocket propulsion comes with the territory.

Reply to  bonbon
July 4, 2019 2:18 pm

Try Afghanistan. While the USA fights the Taliban, China mines the rare earth in Afghanistan and sells it to the USA. How environmental safe do you think those Chinese mines are? Not to speak of miner safety. Just who is looking the other way…..

Reply to  Sam
July 5, 2019 7:27 am

Trump mentioned exactly that this week – Chinese worker are being shot at by the Taliban.
It’s a dangerous place, and the US has no reason to police it.
With fusion, very high energy density, so-called waste becomes a resource and a radical economic shift will occur.

Sam Castronovo
Reply to  bonbon
July 6, 2019 6:42 am

Fusion is no where even close to becoming a reality. Not even in my great/great/……/great….children’s life times. Fugetboutit!! Nuclear reactors with the waste being deposited in the caverns created by the nuclear testing of the 50’s is the answer.

Reply to  bonbon
July 4, 2019 4:23 pm

You are aware that each element above helium is exponentially more difficult to fuse, and that after you get to iron, fusion actually consumes more energy than it produces.

PS: You make it sound like all we need to do to get fusion working, is to just wish hard enough.

Reply to  MarkW
July 5, 2019 4:55 am

I clearly stated often here a Manhattan Project style program is needed, not this on-again, off-again, dillydallying typical of liberals. Fusion has been deliberatly de-funded, except for thermonuclear weapons of course.
A Manhattan style program means massive investment, ignoring WallSteet’s whining, and especially the Austrian School’s nutty monetarism. That is Hamiltonian economics, a thoroughly American tradition, the American System of Economy. Which is what the revolution was all about after all.
President Trump refers the the American System, meets savage opposition from the FED and WallStreet.

Reply to  MarkW
July 5, 2019 7:12 am

Wow, even when being scientifically illiterate, you still manage to squeeze in your economic nonsense and conspiracy rantings.

If you think we could ever economically produce materials using fusion, you have completely left the realm of the rational.

Reply to  bonbon
July 4, 2019 5:36 pm

Billions of $$ have been spent over decades by several groups across the world trying to make fusion viable. It has yet to yield more energy than required to initiate and sustain the fusion reaction. Plus, 3He is not the easiest to fuse.

Keith Sketchley
Reply to  donb
July 4, 2019 6:28 pm

” It has yet to yield more energy than required to initiate and sustain the fusion reaction.”

Curious George
July 4, 2019 11:49 am

Paul, a great idea. The original Declaration of Independence has been drafted by a Committee of Five. Get more legal minds together and finalize your draft text.

Bryan A
July 4, 2019 12:51 pm


Betsy R 1776
Reply to  Bryan A
July 15, 2019 11:12 am

Brilliant. Absolutely, Creatively Brilliant !

July 4, 2019 1:43 pm

In another thread I asked if America supplied all the rare earths for the huge solar arrays intended for Los Angeles?

More specifically does it mine, process and transport the rare earths in an environmentally friendly fashion or are the promoters of such schemes hypocrites in not worrying where the rare earths come from(often under Chinese control) or Don’t care if the local environment is destroyed by the mining and processing?

In short, Does the solar industry live up to their own green ideals?


Keith Sketchley
Reply to  Tonyb
July 4, 2019 2:07 pm

Poly and mono-crystalline silicon solar panels do not use rare earth metals in their manufacture.

Curious George
Reply to  Tonyb
July 4, 2019 2:27 pm

Strong magnets in windmill generators use rare earths. Most solar panels don’t.

Keith Sketchley
Reply to  Curious George
July 4, 2019 3:04 pm

Gear driven wind turbines do not use permanent magnets.

July 4, 2019 2:21 pm

Our businesses and citizens must have full power to explore, develop and mine on federally managed lands,…

The solution here is to follow the Constitution, and eliminate federal management of all lands that are not managed as a result of an enumerated federal power under the Constitution. And the percentage of federally managed land that is managed by virtue of being part of a federally enumerated power is virtually zero:

“What does the Constitution say about federal land ownership?”

Reply to  Mark Bahner
July 5, 2019 7:36 am

It was Teddy Rooseveldt who started the nature reserve scam.
That trick was used to reserve huge parts of Africa, fo none other than the Crown’s Rio Tinto and mining companies. And to train mercenaries to take down any nation who asserted ownership.
In Australia this is a huge theme – looting, or use by national economic development.

Betsy R 1776
Reply to  Mark Bahner
July 15, 2019 11:33 am

From Britain’s historical feudal “lordship” over India, Kenya, Ireland, and The American Colonies,
rulers have always used other countries resources to benefit the stronger & more powerful

In The United States, after Ford, Rockefeller (supporting Nazi Germany by selling them petroleum), Carneigie, Mellon, and the “industrial giants” transformed The United States into a powerhouse,

the focus shifted in the 1990’s through “presidential’ leadership into distributing the resources
of The United States to other nations:
1. Signing away of Long Beach Naval Base to the Chinese (Clinton)
2. Beginning of a world-wide forced health care system, originated by H Clinton in 1991,
and slid through Congress against ALL REPUBLICAN SENATORS by H. CLinton as Sec. of State

2 A. This “health care” act was a guise and ploy to increase Pharmaceutical companies
financial profits, and more importantly, increase the stock portfolios of Congressional
Senators and Representatives who had invested heavily in these companies.

-Remember John Boehner’s sellout of the repeal of “obamacare”: Boehner had/has
heavy financial investments in the medical field & pharmaceutical companies.

– Ditto John McCain.

Think back to the sudden increase of Walgreens’, CVS, (Rite-Aid Drugstores bought out by CVS),
this all came about because of the knowledge of Hillary’s ‘world-wide’ health care program. Doctors
began expanding their offices to two, three, or more different cities, anticipating increased revenues.

There is nothing wrong with capitalism, and independent businesses. However, the danger comes
when The American People are duped into thinking Globalism and erasure of America’s National Borders are somehow going to benefit them.

Insanity is not recognizing reality. India, China, Africa, The Entire Mid-East (Saudi Arabia, Qatar,
Iraq, Afghanistan, The United Arab Emirates, etc.) CANNOT FEED THEIR OWN PEOPLES.

Globalism’s (H.Clinton, Soros, Sotero, etc.) Planned Agenda of Forcing All These People From Other Nations into America to take Her Resources to Feed Foreigners Are a Danger, Detriment, And Threat
to The Continued Future and Well-Being of Native American Born Peoples.

Insanity is not recognizing this fact.

Francis Manns
July 4, 2019 3:04 pm

The Chinese undercut the rare earth market a decade ago because they wanted to dominate the TV production space.

Robert MacLellan
July 4, 2019 3:43 pm

Everything you said, in spades, re Canada, sadly.

July 4, 2019 6:03 pm

as a Brit, its a bit depressing having the lunatic King George equated with the eco-loons.
right or wrong, he wanted someone to prosper

the eco loons want us all to go under

July 4, 2019 6:03 pm

Curious George and his idea of applying more legal minds to the wording.
I shudder to think as to how it would turn out, hundreds of pages of
legal mumbo jumbo. Remember the legal profession is paid by the word.


July 4, 2019 6:46 pm

Petition the President and your Legislators to require a single master lead agency, and a 2 year maximum for ALL permitting and regulation reviews.
See: Permitting, Economic Value and Mining in the United States National Mining Assoc.

“Despite being blessed with a vast reserve of mineral resources, the U.S. only accounts for 7 percent of world-wide spending on mineral exploration and production is currently reliant on a population of mature mining projects.”
“It found that on average, a typical mining project loses more than one-third of its value as a result of unexpected delays in receiving the numerous permits needed to begin production.”
“In the U.S., the requirement for multiple permits and multiple agency involvement is the norm, as is the involvement of other stakeholders, including local indigenous groups, the general public and nongovernmental organizations. As a consequence of the country’s inefficient permitting system, it takes on average seven to 10 years to secure the permits needed to commence operations in the U.S. To put that into perspective, in Canada and Australia, countries with similarly stringent environmental regulations, the average permitting period is two years.”
The Rosemont Copper project in Arizona continues in its attempts to secure permits, five years after the originally planned start date of 2010. Over this period, the value of the project has fallen from $18 billion to $15 billion despite much higher copper prices.
The Kensington gold mine in Alaska was plagued by permitting issues during development. It commenced production in 2010, nearly 20 years after the originally planned start date of 1993. By the time the mine opened, the capital cost of building the mine had increased by 49 percent, and the company had reduced planned gold production by nearly a third, to focus mining operations on the most profitable part of the deposit only.”


J Mac
July 5, 2019 9:01 pm

Paul and Ann,
I vote “Yes!”

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